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Kansas - Masque CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.66 | 543 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars 3.5 stars

Another great effort from Kansas, although not up to par with it's predecessor and the following album, Leftoverture. This album is slightly more guitar-oriented than both the debut and Song For America. A good thing, since the guitar often is overshadowed in the production.

Continuing the trend of songs with a more mainstream approach, the album kicks of with It Takes a Woman's Love (To Make a Man), which just fall flat compared to much of the other material on Masque. Typical radio song, with some saxophone thrown in for good measure. Not my cup of tea. Saxophone played like this always reminds me of tv-shows from the '80s.

Two Cents Worth isn't bad, it's got very dark lyrics, and typical Kansas segments. The strange, silly keys tend to annoy me though, and therefore makes this song hard to fully appreciate.

Having gone through the safe songs, one can now go on with the bulk of the album, which is just as good as Song for America. Icarus remains a classic and All the world is somewhat a hidden gem in the discography, containing both powerful riffs and the interplay of delicate piano and soothing vocals Kansas have mastered in such a good way.

Child of Innocence is another hard-edged song, but this one comes naturally compared to It Takes a Woman's Love, much like The Devil Game. This one also hints on things to come, as a sort of heavy prog number of which several can be found on say...Point of Know Return. The fun, but short, It's You, is also more in the same vein as the one mentioned above. Saved by the nice melody and the always tasteful Steinhardt violin.

Being essentially one, Mysteries and Mayhem and The Pinnacle closes the album. The rocking and powerful Mysteries and Mayhem contains all the ingredients necessary for a Kansas song, and when it fades out into The Pinnacle you can honestly feel that something great is about to happen. The wall of sound, tight interplay, melody, balanced soloing and dual vocals from Walsh and Steinhardt is just what you need if you ever felt any doubt about the albums quality.

The rating Really good, but non-essential would fit perfectly, hence the 3.5 stars.


LinusW | 3/5 |


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